9.3.2 Accepting the Gift of Salvation

In Suleikha Snyder’s Bollywood and the Beast (2014) it has been ten years since Taj’s “career had been declared dead,” years which have been a  “long journey to hell,” spent in a house which he describes as an “oversized crypt” and “a tomb. Fit only for the dead.” Taj thinks that Rocky, his heroine, “could not possibly beat his demons” and to some extent he is correct. Though he tells her she “brought Diwali into this place, where none of us want light or joy or evidence of God. You lit every corner, every shadow,” and she both gave Taj a reason to leave his “tomb” and would be willing to “meet him at the gates of hell if he asked her to,” she acknowledges to him that she “can’t do it all alone. You have to fight, too. For me.” Taj and other such protagonists have to have the “nerve to reach out and take what they’d found, despite the odds. Despite the memories. Despite everything” (Davis 245).

There must, then, be “human participation [...] in making salvation possible" (Morris 37) not just on the part of the character who brings light into the darkness but also on that of the individual to be saved. This is because in the theology of popular romance novels, as in more conventional theology,

salvation comes in an interpersonal encounter [...]. Redemption is sealed in the gift of self from one person to another, in which we are given a choice of allowing our isolation to end [...] subjective redemption is the human act of accepting this gift and offering self in return. (Heath 261)

Since Taj has “gone out exactly four times” in the past ten years, his exit from his house, journey by airplane, and arrival to claim Rocky’s love in a very public place make manifest his choice to end his emotional isolation in a very visible way which demonstrates he is willing to make a significant contribution to his own salvation.